The reason behind the Russian donations to the Leave.EU campaign
This Tory government is trying to deliver a no-deal Brexit and turn the UK into the biggest tax haven on earth, which is the sole reason behind Russian donations to the Leave.EU campaign.
According to the Guardian, Arron Banks is under investigation over alleged £8m Russian donations to the Leave.EU campaign, he might have received from Russians to deliver Brexit:
“The investigation centres on allegations the £8m provided to the campaign involved money from a “non-qualifying or impermissible company” based in the Isle of Man, and that Banks, Bilney and others involved in BFTC, Leave.EU and others sought to cover up the origin of the funding.”
According to the Guardian, Alexander Udod, a Russian diplomat who invited Banks to meet the ambassador at his Kensington mansion, but also the Moscow businessman Siman Povarenkin, who was trialed for tax-avoiding offences.
However, according to Washington Post, the sources of Banks’ funding behind his donations to the Leave.EU can’t be traced because of his offshore registered companies:
“Thanks to Banks’s extensive use of tax havens and shell companies, it has never been entirely clear where all of that money came from — or even whether all of it was really his. Some of it, he says, comes from an insurance company he owns. Some comes, supposedly, from “diamond mines.” All of it is spread among dozens of companies based in Gibraltar, the British Virgin Islands and the Isle of Man, according to documents revealed in the Panama Papers, among other things, as well as Britain.”
According to Reuters, in 2011, wealthy Russian tax-dodgers avoided paying up to $221bn of their due taxes, which accounts for at least 43.8% of the Russian GDP.
According to the IMF, nearly five times as much Russian money is invested in the British Overseas Territories (BOTs) compared to their assets held in the UK, accounting to at least £34 billion of Russian money is currently invested in the BOTs or 12% of all Russian money invested outside Russia.
Russian tax avoidance was also reiterated by Margaret Hodge, a Labour MP who called for transparency on British tax havens:
“We would know who owns what and where and we would be able to follow the money. We would be able to root out corruption and crime. In the last 10 years, £68bn flowed out of Russia into the overseas territories because they are secret jurisdictions. That is seven times as much money as has come into the UK.”
The United Kingdom is the world’s most significant player when it comes to corporate tax-dodging because out of the top 10 countries that allow multinationals to avoid paying billions in tax on their profits, four are British overseas territories and this is the reason Russian donations to the Leave.EU campaign.
According to an index published by the Tax Justice Network , the United Kingdom is actually by far the world’s biggest facilitator of corporate tax dodging, helping funnel hundreds of billions of dollars away from the tax man, which is probably why Arron Banks received Russian donations to the Leave.EU campaign.
British overseas territories constitute 25% of the top 10 countries that allows multinationals to avoid paying billions in tax on their profit, which have “single-handedly” managed to create global corporate tax-dodging system which loses an estimated £395bn to avoidance.
The British tax haven territories are responsible for around a third of the world’s corporate tax avoidance risk, mounting up to almost five time the amount of the next greatest contributor, the Netherlands.
The UK managed to break down the global corporate tax system with an estimated £395bn of taxes lost to tax-avoiding practices.
The Tax Justice Network lists the world’s top ten ranked tax havens, in which British tax havens rank the highest:
1 The British Virgin Islands;
3 Cayman Islands;
10 Hong Kong.
According to the Independent, the British affiliated tax havens are responsible for around a third of the world’s corporate tax avoidance risk:
“The amount dodged globally each year is more than three times the NHS budget or roughly equivalent to the entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Belgium.”
Under the current Tory government, the UK is gradually turning into a tax haven, it is hardly surprising that the Russian oligarchs supported the Leave campaign!
If the UK remained in the EU, then British government would have had to implement the EU Anti Tax Avoidance Directive, which would bring an end to tax-dodging practices by the wealthy Russian individuals or businesses residing or operating in the UK, hence the Russian donations to the Leave.EU campaign.